The link above explains Yayoi Kusama’s biography and an interview with her.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese Avant-garde artist who was born in Matsumoto City in Japan in 1929. She studied Nihonga painting which is a formal style of art developed during the Meiji period (1868-1912). She was attracted by the experimental promise of the postwar international art scene and so she moved to New York City, United States during 1958. Kusama created her first astonishing Net painting in 1959 and her “Infinity Net” series was shown at Brata Gallery in 1959. She has written that “This was my ‘epic’, summing up all that I was”. The reason she has written “summing up all that I was” as the painting refers to her fears and complexes and she uses it as the theme for her works. The infinity nets conveyed her fear of self-obliteration through the use of tiny dots in an infinite universe. The tiny dots is created by the small thickly painted loops and the painting present the idea that “infinity” could be constrained within arbitrary structure on a canvas and also quantified as well. She has also commented that, “My desire was to predict and measure the infinity of the unbounded universe, from my own position in it, with dots-an accumulation of particles forming the negative spaces in the net.”
The photo on above shows the white ‘Infinity Net’ painting that Kusama did and it is 33 feet in width. The photo was taken at her solo exhibition in 1961, at Stephen Radich Gallery in New York City.
During early 1970s, she went back to Japan as she’s not feeling very well because she has painted too much artworks and later on, she started to write surrealistic novels, poetry, short stories, etc. Subsequently, she develops her artworks again from her earlier artworks such as the ‘Infinity Net’ paintings and the ‘Accumulation’ sculptures that she did. Kusama not only do paintings but she is also a poet, a writer and also her fascination with polka dots patterns developed not only by doing paintings with polka dots, but also painting people’s bodies and on animals.
Kusama has commented on her obsession with polka dots pattern.
“I was under the spell of the polka dot nets. Bring on Picasso, bring on Matisse, bring on anybody! I would stand up to them all with a single polka dot!”
During 1991, she exhibited Mirror Room (Pumpkin) at Hara Museum of Contemporary Art and the mirror reflects shows her continuity developments on her infinity works. The yellow pumpkin has got polka dots on them which shows Kusama’s characteristics of artworks.
In 1967, she work in her film ‘Kusama’s Self-Obliteration’ with Jud Yalkut. You can see in the film, Kusama uses a lot of polka dots such as on herself, on the horse and other people’s body. The film was shot in Woodstock, New York and it presents the ideas of Kusama’s style of motifs and themes in her artworks. The soundtrack used in this film is quite discordant which I think is used to show Kusama’s imaginative world.
On below is the link of the film ‘Kusama’s Self- Obliteration’:
On below, I have found some more of Kusama’s artworks.
Kusama artworks link to Op Art as the use of geometric abstraction and the two dimensional patterns which shows the regularity of repeated patterns and the use of experimenting with space and shapes on her artworks.
I like Kusama’s idea of using mirror as it helps to show her idea of ‘infinity’ and also the circular shapes links to Op art as the multiple circular patterns used in here and also how the mirror reflections experiments with the space as well.
The link on above is an interview with Yayoi Kusama talking about the ideas on her artworks.
W Magazine December 2013- George Clooney x Yayoi Kusama:
During 2013 December, W magazine has worked with Kusama and she has presented her works in the magazine through the photoshoot of George Clooney. On below, she has explained her ideas for the shoot.
“My idea is to send the message of ‘love forever’ to all the people in the world through the polka dots, which are all about the universe and human beings and living things. Your sex, being famous, being a star has nothing to do with it.”
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama:
Kusama has worked with famous brands such as Louis Vuitton and she has applied her polka dots pattern on garments as well. Her obsession with polka dots also allows her to develop through fashion by dressing the models in these patterns and it also inspires her to develop and expand her artist works further.
She credits her art’s creativity to the hallucinations which is caused by her mental illness and it links to her obsession of polka dots. She also investigate space as multiple universes and her obsession of dots, patterns and space. Kusama is interested in the particle systems which she has referred to the dot patterns on her work that “human beings are all represent dots; a single particle among billions. This is one of my important philosophies, which is accepted by many people.”